Growing up in a Christian home, I never thought much about God’s love. It’s not that I wasn’t taught about it. I was taught examples of God’s love every day from my family. In church, I learned tons of Bible stories and lessons showing God’s love.
But in my head, all I thought about was trying to be ‘good’ enough to deserve Heaven. I decided for myself that my salvation was earned through my behavior. I tried and tried to be good enough, but I would trip up, make mistakes, and ultimately fail at it.
Thankfully, I’ve learned over the years what it means to be a Christian. I’ve learned that it’s not about me and what I do. It’s all about what God did for me, sending His son into the world. It’s about Jesus loving me so much that He would die for my sins. And my job, after receiving this gift, is showing God’s love to those around me.
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What Does “God’s Love” Mean?
When showing God’s love to other people, we have to think first of what it actually means. What is “God’s love”? And how do we know that God loves us?
Why God’s Love is So Amazing
There are many Bible verses that try to explain God’s love. One of the best verses to do that is John 3:16. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” (GNB) God loves the world so much that he gave his only son to save it. Isn’t that crazy?
As a mom, this verse really makes me think. I have three kids of my own. Thinking about this kind of sacrifice literally blows my mind! I couldn’t even begin to imagine giving up even one of them for someone else.
But God gave us His ONLY Son! He gave up everything so that we could be with Him for eternity. He knew we wouldn’t be able to make it on our own. His sacrificial gift is why God’s love is so amazing.
God gives me so much love, and so much grace every day. There’s absolutely no way I can repay what’s been done for me. I’ll never be good enough, none of us are. But we can pay it forward. By loving others, even our enemies, we are showing God’s love and acting out our faith.
What Does God Say About Showing His Love?
The Bible is pretty clear about showing God’s love to others. 1 John 4:8 (GNB) says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” If we are true Christians, we must be showing God’s love in our everyday lives.
Later in the same chapter, John gives even more detail on showing God’s love. Verse 20 says, “If we say we love God, but hate our brothers and sisters, we are liars. For people cannot love God, whom they have not seen, if they do not love their brothers and sisters, whom they have seen.” So we must be sure that if we are Christians, we are showing God’s love to others around us.
A Sacrificial Example of Showing God’s Love
A great example of showing God’s love can be found in the movie Hacksaw Ridge. It’s the story of Desmond Doss, an Army medic who served in World War II in Okinawa, Japan.
After watching a violent family brawl as a teenager, Doss swears off guns and promises God he would not take up a weapon to hurt or kill another human being. After being drafted, he felt compelled to serve in the fight for his country on the front lines as a medic.
Doss assumed his officers and fellow soldiers wouldn’t mind him going unarmed as a medic, but he was very wrong. They heaped physical and psychological abuse upon him. Amazingly, he stood firm in his beliefs. His superiors attempted to have him removed from the army, but he was eventually allowed to continue as a medic without a gun for protection.
Desmond’s platoon joined the battle of Okinawa in April 1945. They were fighting on the Maeda Escarpment, a massive 400-foot cliff nicknamed Hacksaw Ridge, where the movie gets its name.
Persevering to Serve Others
Anyway, during the horrific and gory battle (which is accurately depicted in the movie) Doss single-handedly saves up to 75 of his fellow soldiers! Running forward into the line of fire, WITHOUT A GUN, he pulls them to safety. Then, one by one, he lowers them down the 400-foot cliff to help waiting for them below.
Even after a retreat was ordered, Desmond continued looking for his injured comrades on the battlefront. Each time he lowered a soldier to safety, he would offer a quick verbal prayer, “Lord, please help me get one more!” Isn’t that amazing?
Every time I watch Hacksaw Ridge, I am in awe of Desmond Doss’ faith. I’m also amazing at how he continued showing God’s love to the other soldiers by going back over and over to save “one more.” His story is truly mind-blowing!!!
To learn more about the true story behind Hacksaw Ridge, click here.
Jesus Willingly Gave His Life for Us
Didn’t the same thing happen to Jesus? People admired his ability to heal the sick and perform miracles, but when he began showing God’s love and teaching His truth, many began to think he was crazy. Like the time he healed the paralyzed man in Mark chapter 2. Before healing the man, He first said, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” (verse 5 NLT) and the religious teachers threw an absolute fit!
Jesus let them have their moment and then answered, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.”
Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” (Mark 2:8-11) It says next that he jumped up, picked up his mat, and walked away. Jesus showed God’s love by forgiving the man’s sins AND healing him at the same time.
Jesus Shows God’s Love Through Giving His Life for Us
After several different episodes like this, Jesus was eventually arrested, tried, and crucified for our sins. He did this willingly, showing God’s love he has for us. This also gives us all the opportunity for salvation. It’s crazy to think that Jesus loved us so much to literally give it all away like that. But that’s exactly what He did.
How Can We Show God’s Love to Others?
So, what are some ways we can start showing God’s love to others? The book of Romans tells us to be authentic. “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” (Romans 12:9, NLT). Here are a few tips that help me show God’s love for people.
Make People Feel Welcome
Making people feel welcome is one of the best ways to show God’s love to the people around you. And there are tons of ways to do this.
Welcoming visitors into your church is one way to show God’s love. But, you can also make people feel welcome at home, in the grocery, or wherever you are! Being polite and sharing a smile are also great ways to make people feel welcome and accepted.
Love by Being a True Friend
True friendship is very rare. With so many distractions from entertainment and social media, it’s extremely hard to find a true friend. Being a true friend is a great example of God’s love.
We all crave real friendships. One way to develop these friendships is by being a true friend to others. Not only will you be showing God’s love, but you will be making true friends of your own!
Meet Their Needs to Show God’s Love
For people to be able to learn, even about God, their needs need to be met. Jesus tells us to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Meeting people’s needs are great ways of showing God’s love.
Many of the programs our church hosts came out of meeting needs in the community. We host a huge Trunk or Treat event in the fall for some clean family fun. And on Thanksgiving day, along with other churches and community volunteers, we feed over 1,000 meals in our community.
These gestures may not seem like a lot to us. But to those whose needs are met, it can mean the world!
Showing God’s Love Through Service
Serving others and meeting their needs go hand in hand. They are both great ways to show God’s love to your friends, family, and community!
Service can look different for all of us. You can volunteer to serve in the music or children’s ministry at your local church. Or, you can volunteer to help keep the building and grounds clean. Maybe you want to volunteer at a local food bank. Any way you serve others, you’re showing God’s love to them!
Prayer Show’s God’s Love
Prayer is so simple. It’s an instant way of showing God’s love to others.
But Christians often use prayer as a last resort. When helping someone, we try to do and be everything else first. When in reality, we should have started by praying for them.
Speak the Truth in Love (H3)
Christianity is meant to shine a light in the darkness. Our world is dark, because of sin. Part of our job is to shine the light of Jesus. At times, we might have to confront sin in ourselves or other people.
Confronting sin doesn’t mean we need to be ugly. It isn’t about “us” verses “them”. It’s about guiding people to Jesus. And you can’t do that without loving them first.
Share the Good News (H3)
Matthew 28:19 tells us to, “Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (WEB). This is our ultimate goal as followers of Christ.
Living out the commandments He gave us is the perfect way to show God’s love to others. In order to get people into heaven, you have to share the good news with them. And they will never listen if you don’t have love!
Showing God’s Love by Winning Souls for Him (H2)
Our ultimate goal of showing God’s love in the world is winning souls for Christ. Like John 3:16 says, “that whoever believes in him shall not perish by have eternal life.” Through showing God’s love, to everyone, all the time, we are doing our part in the body of Christ!
To finish out, I’d like to share the song that inspired this blog post. We The Kingdom’s version of “God So Loved” spells out the meaning of John 3:16 perfectly. It’s also a great example of showing God’s love! Enjoy 🙂
I hope these tips inspire you to show God’s love to those around you! If you’re not a subscriber, and you want to be, you can sign up below. And don’t forget to check out my Resource Links for fun Bible Studies and Bible Verse Coloring Sheets!